Having not read through this thread I will probably repeat stuff lots of other people said.
Fox never makes his intentions known. He takes action, then says: "It is what it is" after the fact. If we're in the business of predicting a certain behavior we shoudl try to predict the behavior of the Big Cat.
During this offseason, Bill Richardson has carefully positioned himself and the Panther's roster (including player contracts and Fox's) to GET NASTY with the player's union in their pursuit of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. He wants the player's union to believe that he has nothing to lose, and when you look at how we've been handling contracts, he can say this with more credibility that just about any other franchise owner.
The new CBA is a ten-ton elephant in the room, and it is easy to jump to conclusions about every little thing that Richardson might do in order to be stearn in the face of a lockout. If Richardson had signed Fox to a contract extension, that would indicate to the player's union that he thought business as usual would continue past this year. Instead, the absense of a contract extension leaves open the possibility that Richardson expects there to be a lockout next year.
This allows Richardson some power he might not otherwise have over the player's union.
Richardson likes consistency, he likes the absense of drama, he likes the competitive secrecy, he removes the criminals and miscreants, and he knows he has a North Carolina audience with our temperament and beliefs. Fox is delivers a good product to his owner on all of these levels, but most of all he is a winning coach.
Finally, Fox is likely to receive MANY offers from various franchises across the league next year, because he has earned that respect and admiration. However, none of those bids will be made, until AFTER the new CBA is done.
I expect Fox to do what is best for him, and I expect Richardson to make him a handsome offer. If Fox loves us as much as we love him, then staying put will be a no-brainer. Consider this: having a John Fox who stays by extension, is less compelling that having a John Fox who was given a chance to consider other opportunities but found his competitive heart was still in Carolina. We want the Fox that is in it for the long haul.
Edited by Darth Bobo, 02 September 2010 - 03:16 PM.